Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Angelic Germany to be free from the perils of nuclear power by 2022

(Click on image to enlarge)
Nuclear Power Plants in Germany : Nil
Nuclear Power Plants in rest of Europe: 150
Distance between nuclear free Germany and other EU nuclear power plants : less than 300 kilometers.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fleeting Thoughts: The Old Faithful

Fleeting Thoughts: The Old Faithful: "Three Cheers to the Public Sector! If you think it is great that that there are any number of insurers that have sprouted up in the Private ..."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We regret to announce...

Indigo Airlines:" Indigo Airlines is pleased to announce the departure of 6E-001 at 17.00 hrs Indigo Standard Time - 5 minutes ahead of its scheduled departure at 1705 Indian Standard Time."
Jet Airways:" Jet Airways 9W-002 is pleased to announce its on-time departure at 17.05 hrs."
Kingfisher Airways:"We regret to inform you of a 10 minutes delay in the departure of IT-003. This delay is on account of the late arrival of the incoming aircraft due to air traffic congestion over Mumbai. You would appreciate that air traffic delays are beyond our control".
Air India:" Air India regrets to announce a 60 minutes delay in the departure of its flight AI-007.This delay is on account of the following reasons:
- late arrival of our VVIP passengers.
- delay in fueling the aircraft on account of late payment, to
Hindustan Petroleum, for fuel consumed in the past.
- Non availability of parking bays for our aircraft due to non-payment of dues to GMR towards airport parking slots.
Dinner is on the house for passengers affected by this delay.

Chris Gayle - His talent failed when it was needed the most

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A downgrade of the Indian airspace - can an aircraft be puffed out of the skies?

According to newspaper reports,the Pilatus - PC12 aircraft which crashed into a Faridabad( India) home on the 25th May,2011 met with a "Wall of Wind" at around 14,000 feet. The questions which beg an answer are:

- this aircraft has a weather radar. Did it not show the high velocity 60 kmph wind over Bhatinda?

- why did the ATC not warn the aircraft not to enter the Bhatinda/Faridabad/Delhi airspace knowing that a small 7 seater aircraft could have trouble facing high velocity winds.

- are these aircrafts not designed to handle 60 kmph winds? Winds at high altitudes regularly attain a velocity of over 60 kmph. What is important to a pilot is the wind resistance that an aircraft faces.Windspeed/Aircraft Speed is the important ratio for the pilot. Wind speed of 50 Knots ( 92 kilometers/hour) is almost unimportant to a Boeing 747 flying at, say, 37,000 feet at 500 Knots/hour. However, when this aircraft slows down to 200 knots, Headwinds at 50 knots (50/200) is a very important factor. Was the PC12 at slower than recommended speeds when it faced the " Wall of Wind".

- The PC-12 is capable of flying at upto an altitude of 30,000 feet. Why was the aircraft not alloted a higher altitude (it was flying at 14,000 feet) or a lower one in order to escape the squall?

- If an aircraft can be dumped from the sky into the ground by 60 kmph winds then how safe are the ATR -72's which are regularly used by many passenger airlines. The ATR-72 has a maximum altitude of only 25,000 feet compared to 30,000 feet of the PC-12.

Not many may know it, but the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is being threatened by the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) of a downgrade the Indian Airspace and its Aviation procedures to the level of Sub-Sahara African level - i.e. the worst possible administration of aircrafts and airspace.

For many years, Indonesia's Garuda Airlines was not allowed to fly into Europe because of its poor safety record. DGCA seems to be sliding towards this. On one hand we have better airport infrastructure and on the other, rot is eating into the innards of India's Civil Aviation. There is complete lack of accountability. The media is interested only in 'breaking news'. This PC -12 brokeup and fell over Faridabad and made news. In the next few days media will lose all interest in this PC -12 which was carrying a critically ill patient to Apollo Hospital in Delhi.

The public too has short memory. The Civil Aviation Mandarins will go about as if nothing has happened - after all it was only a 7 seater aircraft which crashed.

We need the US FAA to keep us on our toes. I hope they downgrade us to the Sub Saharan grade. That may, perhaps, wake up all concerned.

Friday, May 20, 2011

DGCA Overlooks, Outlook Oversees

According to Outlook Magazine (23rd May,2011 - page16), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) "overlooks" maintenance and safety standards of aircrafts in India. This is possibly true. Outlook Magazine, perhaps, "oversees" it.

Big deal. There is hardly any difference between "look" and "see" - unless it is prefixed with an "over".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fly with the freshest pilots in the skies - fly Air India

Dear Passenger, (You did not expect us to address you as Maharajah, did you?)

There is a brand new reason for you to fly Air India. Our pilots, after a 10 days of complete rest, are the freshest pilots in the Indian skies. While other airlines and pilots struggle to maintain their schedules in the face of Flight Duty Time Limitation, Air India pilots, periodically, take things into their own hands. This time, it was complete rest for the pilots for 10 days.

Therefore, the next time you take an Air India flight you will notice a cheerfulness in the announcement of our pilots - they are yearning to take-off, put the aircraft on auto-pilot, so that they may calculate the additional emoluments and perquisites they may get once the Justice Dharmadhikari report is out.

Also, Private Airlines have been going thru very turbulent financial times. A side objective our noble pilots (other than getting the required rest) was to improve the financial health of other airlines. We know that private airline doubled their fare while our pilots rested - there is nothing like a little extra contribution from you towards improving the health of ailing airlines.

We have already announced special fares for the next few days so that your may recover your generous contribution to the kitty of Private Airlines. With the taxpayer as our chief sponsor, we can afford to pay the pilots all the increases they seek and give you all the concessional fares you need.

As you may have already know, our cabin crew are also contemplating going on strike.If this happens, our planes will still fly (our pilots have been taken care of, as you know). You may, however, need to skip a meal on board. We'll,of course, suitably modify the fare to take care of the cost of the missing meal - money means nothing to us.

Till the next strike.

Air India Maharajah